Pet Zebra Bites Ohio Man’s Arm Off

  • Here’s another great reason to stay well away from big exotic animals.

Exotic pets can be dangerous. Lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) are all perfectly capable and often much too willing to maul you in inventive ways.

But a zebra? That should be pretty safe, right? It can kick you but otherwise, it shouldn’t be any different from a horse, right?

Yeah, that is what you’d think. But such a misconception could cost you a limb.

An Ohio man recently found that out the hard way. His enraged pet zebra reportedly bit off the 72-year-old’s arm.

We couldn’t confirm exactly how it happened, but it did. Sheriff’s deputies attending the scene found the man on the ground, holding his bloodied stump, while the zebra continued rampaging around.

Fortunately, doctors were later able to successfully reattach the man’s arm. The zebra’s story didn’t end as well, though — the deputies ended up putting the animal down.

Perhaps this entire incident could’ve been averted by not, you know, having such a bizarre pet in the first place. But who ever thought a zebra even could bite off your arm?

That sure is a first for us.

A Strange Distress Call

The gruesome episode took place on March 12. Around 5.30 p.m., the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office received a distress call.

According to the caller, a zebra had seriously injured its owner and was now running amok. While we can’t confirm it, we’re fairly sure the person taking the call had to ask the caller to repeat themselves.

But despite the bizarre nature of the call, the deputies had to go do their duty. So, they headed off to Circleville, Ohio.

There, they found a fenced-in field with an older gentleman lying on the ground. The man’s right arm was bloodied and covered with his sleeve.

Although its victim was down, the zebra clearly wasn’t finished with him. The deputies had to position one of the cruisers to keep the animal from charging the 72-year-old man again.

With the zebra fended off, for the time being, the deputies could inspect the man’s injuries. They were indeed serious — the zebra had managed to bite his arm off.

Now, we don’t want to make light of the man’s suffering in any way. But out of morbid curiosity, we kind of wish there was footage of the event. How does a zebra manage to do that?

The answer, apparently, is, “fairly effectively.”

Death as the Only Option

So, the deputies got to treating the injured man. Meanwhile, the zebra continued to look for an opportunity for a second attack.

The animal kept charging at the deputies’ vehicles, attempting to get to its original victim. As it wouldn’t stop being hostile, the man’s family members assisted in loading him into an ambulance.

Meanwhile, the deputies began to yell at the zebra in an attempt to scare it away. They also found some air horns and blasted them at the animal to reinforce the message.

Not that we’re exotic animal experts but to us, antagonizing a raging animal with loud noises doesn’t seem like the best idea. And it wasn’t — the zebra only began to get angry at the deputies.

As they packed into the ambulance, the injured man’s family members told them not to turn their backs on the zebra. According to them, that was when it would attack.

They also said that the deputies were free to put the zebra down if necessary.

And that’s just what they did. As the zebra didn’t show any signs of calming down after the ambulance took its victim away, one of the deputies put a bullet in the animal’s head.

According to reports from the deputies, “the zebra was aggressive due to being protective of about five or six female zebras that were in the field.” Unfortunately, it paid for its efforts with its life.

The zebra’s victim was luckier, though. Upon arrival at the Grant Medical Center, the doctors deemed his injuries not life-threatening, and they were able to reattach his severed arm the following day.

You Can Have a Zebra

But why did the old man have zebras in the first place? Is that even legal?

In Ohio, it is. The state law doesn’t consider zebras exotic animals — for some reason — and Ohioans can freely own them without registering them with the state Department of Agriculture.

It’s kind of surprising that Ohio allows zebras. The state tightened its exotic animal laws after a tragic incident in Zanesville in 2011.

In what’s become known as the “Zoo Massacre,” a suicidal man freed the 18 tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, two grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves, and a baboon he owned moments before ending his own life. All of the animals were put down as a result.

Following the incident, Ohio banned all of those animals as pets. In addition, the ban list includes elephants, rhinos, hyenas, Komodo dragons, crocodilians, and more.

But no zebras. Wonder if this latest case will change the situation.